A helping hand to Vakarai people (Sri Lanka)


The Vakarai people will receive electricity shortly for the first time. A group trained in the United States are involved in land mines clearing and the area will be free of land mines by April.


(07.03.2007)

COLOMBO: 'Vakareta Ne Gamanak' (A goodwill visit to Vakarai) organised by a few social welfare organisations led by Deputy Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Lionel Premasiri under the guidance of Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda will take place from April 6 to 8.

Addressing a press briefing at the Social Services and Social Welfare Deputy Minister's office, Deputy Minister Premasiri said the main objective of this project is extending friendship and establishing harmony among the people in Vakarai and the rest of the country while giving a helping hand to those people to rebuild their lives successfully.

This is not a temporary programme or providing daily needs to the people. This long term programme is aimed at rebuilding the lives of people while extending friendship to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

Deputy Minister Premasiri pointed out how the resettlement process began soon after the Sri Lankan armed forces liberated the Vakarai people from the LTTE grip. Vakarai is one of the areas the indigenous people of Sri Lanka (Veddas) live in.

This was revealed a few years back but there was not much publicity to this fact. Over 60 per cent of them depend on fishing. This is one of the reasons to launch this programme in Vakarai.

The Government will provide all infrastructure facilities to this area and resettlement will be done in five phases to resettle people in their original homes.

Resettlement process of certain areas will be completed shortly. The Government has a complete data base on families in these areas. 60 per cent of the people in Vakarai depend on fishing while another 35 per cent depend on agriculture. Only 5 per cent depend on other means.

The Vakarai people will receive electricity shortly for the first time. A group trained in the United States are involved in land mines clearing and the area will be free of land mines by April.

Meanwhile, a few social service organisations - International World Social Service Organisation, Meth Sarana Foundation and Lionel Premasiri Foundation will make arrangements to provide a family packages each worth about Rs.8000 which include almost all the family needs such as things required by infants and school children, agricultural equipment, equipment for self employments, kitchen utensils, food, household items etc.) to about 1,000 selected families.

The project is expected to cost Rs. 8.2 million.

Von: 07.03.2007 www.dailynews.lk By Nadira Gunatilleke

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